Ananya PathakPublished: 9 Sep 2019, 11:30 PM
Marketing

Chandrayaan inspired ads highlight perils of news-based marketing

Launched from the Earth's surface on July 22, the second lunar exploration, Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO's) Chandrayaan-2 - Vikram Lander - was scheduled to land on the near side of the moon over the last weekend, September 7, at approximately 1:50 am. As Indians sat hooked to their television sets to watch the landing, the abruptly lost communication with the Lander just minutes before its landing came as a disappointment.

During this unfortunate time, the country stood by ISRO. Brands too floated creatives across social media platforms to extend their support for the initiative. However, just a day after losing communication, ISRO successfully located the craft on the moon's surface. As the nation rejoiced over the development, we wonder how short is the relevance of headline-based marketing.

Chandrayaan inspired ads highlight perils of news-based marketing
Chandrayaan inspired ads highlight perils of news-based marketing
Chandrayaan inspired ads highlight perils of news-based marketing
Chandrayaan inspired ads highlight perils of news-based marketing

We reached out to industry experts to understand the perils of news-based marketing.

Harsh Maheshwari, senior creative director, Enormous Brands, opines that riding on topics that are trending on social media has become the go-to strategy for brands. Those who do it well, get a few mentions. Others, at best, pass by like a ship in the dark.

Harsh Maheshwari
Harsh Maheshwari

He says, “There's very little long term effect of moment marketing, unless you really commit to it and make owning the moments one of your strategies like how Amul has done over the years. Else, you stick to what's relevant to your category, like a shoe brand celebrating a sports win. But a chewing gum brand on the Chandrayaan mission? That's a little stretched.”

Mithun Mukherjee, creative director, Grapes Digital, says, "Moment marketing brings its own set of challenges and moments in the spotlight. A brand can intelligently use popular trending occasions and utilise the opportunity to quickly engage with the end consumer, letting them gain important points on the awareness metric.”

Mithun Mukherjee
Mithun Mukherjee

“But then again, moment marketing is called that for a reason - all it takes is just a moment for the news to change. And this is where the intelligence of the marketing team comes into play. A go-to strategy for brands is to have two posts - one for each of the outcomes, wherever relevant. This could be a World Cup final, a political party coming to power or the Chandrayaan landing. But the meatier conversation for brands is to see if the moment they want to cash in on has a relevant brand fit. And if it doesn't, stay away from it,” he offers.

"A brand will also need to remember a golden rule: people will remember you for your product, as much as they would for a force fit or a creative done in bad taste," he cautions.

Aalap Desai
Aalap Desai

Aalap Desai, executive creative director, Dentsu Webchutney, explains, “Remember the cool kids at school who would easily become a part of conversations happening around them? That’s what moment marketing is. It’s a brand being cool enough to piggyback trends that change constantly.”

“But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Reaction time for such communication is mostly hours. The later communication goes up, the less cooler it becomes. So, the agency is in a rush to make it and the clients are in a rush to approve it. As a result, it cuts down the mental procrastination that often occurs on both sides. It’s mostly a great thing because it demonstrates trust. Honestly, it takes a lot of efforts to be the first one catching a trend. For me, it’s a testimony of great client-agency relationships. This is catching on and I hope it becomes bigger purely because it’s a lot of fun,” he adds.